Everywhere you look these days you see something about drones. Whether its the latest product on the market, a cool new video, or an awesome new way to use them, they are everywhere. So it’s understandable why so many new companies are eager to join the drone industry. The latest company to catch the “drone fever” shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
What is the first thing to know about drones? There are a lot of them and the number is growing every day. The number of small, hobbyist unmanned aerial vehicles is expected to grow from 1.9 million drones to as many as 4.3 million total by 2020, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). That doesn’t even include sales of drones used for commercial purposes, which are expected to triple in that same time period and bring the total number of drones in the U.S. to 7 million units.
Ford recognizes that while the technology has exploded in popularity, its still relatively new technology. One big hurdle that keeps drones from becoming truly efficient work tools is the framework that determines what rules they will play by in the air — that’s why we’re taking part in the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Symposium this week. We are the only automaker on the FAA’s Aviation Rule making Committee, and we are there because we want to make sure that Ford’s expertise in transportation is leveraged to help develop a framework for this new mode of transportation, whether for goods, services, and even people. By being a proactive participant in this important conversation, we believe we can maximize the potential of drone applications in the future.